Casita Linda, A.C.

The purpose of Casita Linda A.C. is to provide environmentally compatible, low cost, comfortable, homes for families living in extreme poverty who reside in greater San Miguel de Allende. Casita Linda further provides guidance for families to improve their health, education, maintenance of their homes and communities.
Jul 5, 2016

Summer 2016

Workshop 1
Workshop 1

 

Casita Linda recently began a program with the Escuela de Educación Especial de San Miguel de Allende, a wonderful school for the deaf established under the leadership of John Dougherty. For years, Wayne Helfrich, a longtime patron of Casita Linda, built clever wooden puzzles and sold them at TOSMA, the Saturday organic market, donating all of the proceeds to Casita Linda. Helfrich recently donated his woodworking tools and supplies to the school. The deaf children now learn woodworking skills and make the puzzles. Casita Linda continues to sell the puzzles at TOSMA, and the two organizations share the proceeds. The students also build bed frames to furnish Casita Linda homes.
In addition, Casita Linda has teamed up with two talented community leaders, Magda Perez López and Ilian Barrera, to offer a series of workshops to new Casita Linda homeowners. The participants are studying organic gardening and nutrition, affirming their personal and community values, building self-esteem, and learning ways to address problems of addiction and violence in their families. They have come together to work to improve their community. Empowered, they are now preparing an appeal to the municipal government in hopes of bringing desperately needed running water, electricity, and paved roads to their colonia.

Casita Linda also partners with organizations providing eco-friendly products that work well in these off-grid houses. Each Casita Linda family receives an eco-stove designed purchased from Stove Team International. This program is currently funded by San Miguel’s Unitarian Universalist congregation. In addition, each family receives a solar light, funded in part by One Million Lights. Casita Linda volunteers also provide furnishings, blankets, warm clothes, and other needed supplies for the homes. “We are well on our way to building our 100th house in early 2017,” notes board president Louise Gilliam, “and it is largely due to people like this who make up our wonderful community and to our donors throughout the US, Canada and Europe.”

Workshop 2
Workshop 2
Blanket Babes 1
Blanket Babes 1
Apr 7, 2016

Spring has sprung in San Miguel!

Spring has sprung here in San Miguel and Casita Linda families on the waiting list are thankful the cold weather has passed.  The Board of Directors, building crew, and volunteers are moving forward as fast as we can to provide suitable housing for deserving recipients here in our community.  Board member Kim Slote recently wrote a letter to her friends and family that beautifuly describes the new workshops we've implemented for the women of Casita Linda homes and the impact these workshops are having on their lives. 

Dear friends and family,

I know that you are all super busy and have your own causes that you donate to, but I hope that you'll read all the way through my email :)

As many of you know, I am on the Board of Directors for Casita Linda (www.casitalinda.org), a very special non-profit organization here in my adopted home of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Casita Linda builds houses for the very poorest families in our city – people living in the most dilapidated shacks imaginable that are pieced together with plastic tarps, pieces of metal and scraps of wood (you can see an example in the attachment). The families put in dozens of hours of “sweat equity” and take tremendous pride in helping build their homes. Their lives are forever and fundamentally changed once they are in their new homes – just to have a solid roof over their heads, doors that lock, an indoor toilet, and concrete floors that don’t become mud baths in the rain…Everything that you and I take for granted in our own lives.

A couple of years ago, we made the commitment to provide more than just houses, though. Now we give the families mattresses and bedframes, warm blankets, clothing, solar lights, eco stoves, and basic furniture. It’s our way of helping them make the house a real home.

Our newest commitment as of 2016 is to help these families become as successful as possible, despite their extreme poverty. To this end we’ve hired two extraordinary women, Ilian Barrera and Magda Perez, to provide two workshops a week to the mothers of our Casita Linda families in the Nueva Pantoja neighborhood that we have been focusing on for the past 20+ houses. The topics that they have covered so far include self-esteem, value systems, goal-setting, nutrition, personal hygiene, child-rearing, family communication, and the importance of education for their children’s future. Please open the attachment to see some photos of the workshops.

I’m reaching out to you to ask if you might consider a donation to Casita Linda at this time – either to help pay for the cost of a new house or to help us cover the cost of the next three months of workshops for the moms (donations are tax deductible). This next series of workshops will focus on sexuality, birth control, safe sex, domestic violence, child abuse, and drug/alcohol addiction. What I am personally very excited about is that the workshop facilitators are also teaching the women community advocacy skills and showing them that they can advocate for their rights. Already the women have met with the mayor to ask that basic services, such as water, electricity and paved roads, be brought into their neighborhood. And soon they will be learning how to initiate reforestation and organic gardening projects to their community. Ilian and Magda are also helping bring teachers to the community to provide continuing education for the moms in small groups where they live so that they can get either middle or high school degrees.

These workshops are an exciting new step forward for Casita Linda. I hope that you will join Casita Linda on this journey of empowerment, personal growth and community development for our families.

Thank you a million times over!!!

Cheers, Kim

Jan 8, 2016

The New Year

Happy New Year! Casita Linda wishes you and your family a wonderful 2016! 

I and Casita Linda's Board of Directors, on behalf of all the families we have served and continue to serve, thank you for your generosity. We are extremely grateful to those of you who have involved not only yourselves but have included your family and friends to support us. Our ability to provide adequate housing for those living in extreme poverty in Mexico simply would not be possible without you. 

2015 was quite the busy year. We have had new members join our team; we are constructing Casita #90 in the local neighborhood Nuevo Pantoja; we continue to use our effective family selection process, which involves members at all levels of our organization; and we hope to begin the development of new workshop programs for Casita Linda families. In addition, we successfully hosted our 4th Annual Spirit of Hope Gala at the beautiful Hacienda Santa Clara in October 2015. We would like to thank this wonderful organization that represents a new international educational model between U.S. and Mexico, for their support in hosting our wonderful annual fundraiser. 

We would like to also welcome two of our newly appointed board members, Ann Marie Jackson and Kerry Trull. Both have proven to be highly driven and helpful to our wonderful team, and both come from strong and successful backgrounds with extensive experience. We welcome both to our wonderful community and organization. 

Casita Linda would like to take this opportunity to thank the local, national, and international community for their continued support througout the year. We appreciate your past and future support, and hope that you and your friends or members of your family will be able to support our goals and ultimately our mission. 
"Let our New Year's resolution be this: we will be there for one another as fellow members of humanity, in the finest sense of the world." - Goran Persson
Please contact us or visit our website if you would like more information about our organization, Ambassador program, or how you can be a member of our team. You can also contact us via our facebook page
Sincerely, 
George Fields
 
   

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